The Monday Peeve 19

Monday Peeve cat

Smiles and positive posts are all well and good, but sometimes I need to vent a bit. How about you? That’s what The Monday Peeve is all about, a chance to blow off a little steam at the beginning of the week, so then we can go merrily on our way once again (hah). I’ll pick a topic that’s on my mind, but you can vent about whatever you please, here in comments or on your own blog. Grab the photo, use the #TMP tag, and link back to me (or not ~ I dgaf), and Bob’s yer uncle. I do reserve the right to delete any links that offend my delicate sensibilities. So far, none have, but it could happen! I have feelings!

*

Last Monday I peeved: “Stop fawning over celebrities. It’s gross.” That was related to how people drool over pics of older celeb women and “compliment” them by saying they don’t look their age. Today I have a similar but different peeve: the continual obsession with Meghan Markle, especially with the negative conservative spin. Note: I’ve updated this post a few times since I first wrote and scheduled it last week. New info keeps coming in on this hot topic… you’d think it was more important than a war or something! 🙄

My first peeve is… why the hell do any Americans, but in particular righties, give a crap about the doings of the British Royals? Yes, MM is American by birth, but who cares? She got married in England and now lives in Canada. Yet, conservatives here are outraged that she gets any money from the Crown or whatever when she isn’t having tea with the Queen. Who gives a shit? Let them sort it out, or not.

Second, it’s clearly racist, especially for those who also carried on about Michelle Obama’s fashion choices and Barack’s golf games while staying silent re Melania’s clothing and Donald’s golfing. There have been side by side comparisons of the negative press MM received for doing the exact same things as the revered Kate Middleton (cradling their baby bumps, forex), and there is no other explanation except the difference in skin tone.

Third, there’s this whole awful underlying gaslighting thing going on and it makes me sick. On the one hand, MM is called a scheming gold-digger who plotted to nab a prince so she could live a life of lazy luxury. But when it turns out that she actually wants to work, not sit around doing boring teas, she’s lambasted for that and called a scheming hussy who only wants to trade in on her “brand.” No matter what she does, the haters will hate her, just as they hated Barack, Michelle, and their children, simply because she is not white.

It’s disgusting.

Note: the Royals and H&M have sorted things out. H&M will no longer do Royal things or be referred to as Highnesses. And they have to repay the cost of renovating Frogmore Cottage, where they live when in England. So, Fox News readers should be satisfied, right? Wrong! You can never satisfy haters. They are too deeply invested in their obsession.

~*~

Image originally from Pixabay.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

SLS ~ Harry

Song Lyric Sunday

Jim has a fun challenge for today: choose a song by a Tom, Dick, or Harry. Lots to pick from, but I went with Harry Nilsson and “Without You.” Pete Ham and Tom Evans of Badfinger were the writers, and Badfinger first recorded the song in 1970. Nilsson recorded it in 1971.

Without You

No, I can’t forget this evening
Or your face as you were leaving
But I guess that’s just the way the story goes
You always smile but in your eyes your sorrow shows
Yes, it shows
No, I can’t forget tomorrow
When I think of all my sorrows
When I had you there but then I let you go
And now it’s only fair that I should let you know
What you should know
I can’t live, if living is without you
I can’t live, I can’t give any more
Can’t live, if living is without you
I can’t give, I can’t give any more
Well, I can’t forget this evening
Or your face as you were leaving
But I guess that’s just the way the story goes
You always smile but in your eyes your sorrow shows
Yes, it shows
Can’t live, if living is without you
I can’t live, I can’t give anymore
I can’t live, if living is without you
I can’t live, I can’t give anymore
(Living is without you)

~*~

Image credit to Jim Adams.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

The Jungle

Jungle

Never ending story of The Jungle started by Teresa Grabs….
Sweat dripped from the tip of Matthew’s nose as he paused under a kapok tree, scanning the thick jungle floor for ants. He didn’t want to go through that experience again.
“Come along, Mr. Howard,” the guide called, waving his arms. “Camp is just a few more kilometers.”
Matthew sighed and wiped his face with his sleeve. Go find yourself, they said. Travel the world, they said. You’ll have a great time, they said. He groaned as a howler monkey sounded in the distance setting off a cacophony. Sudden movement by his foot startled him. “What in the devil is that?”
Crawling out from under a large fern, a small creature with long brown and white fur paused and looked up at Matthew.
“Hey, Carlos!” He waited for a response. “Carlos! Guide! Hey!” No response. The jungle that engulfed him had suddenly become very quiet. Nothing stirred except his imagination and growing concern that he was now lost in the rain forest, surely to be eaten by a stray jaguar or wayward tiger. “This isn’t a movie, man.” He chuckled and glanced back toward the ground where the creature was only to gasp when he saw …

Sadje continued
when he saw that it had grown quite a bit in that short time. It was looking inquiringly at him. It’s large anime type eyes giving him the feeling as if it was understanding what was going through Mathew’s mind at that moment. Mathew started to feel as if he was in a dream world. It cannot happen in real life, he thought. This is a jungle, not a Hollywood movie set. Just then the creature started blinking its eyes in a rapid, Morse code-like manner while pointing towards a clearing in the vegetation. “What the hell!” He thought and started following the creature. The guide was nowhere to be seen anyway.
In a while, they reached a circular clearing in the jungle, over-hung with thick rope-like tree vines. The creature gestured with its eyes and limbs for Mathew to climb up the tree, using one of the vines. When he reached the thick branches, he found a platform had been built there and more of the creatures roaming about there.
Tentatively he landed on the platform testing its strength. It felt solid enough to bear his weight. Mathew was not sure that he was in a dream or reality and made another crazy decision.
Using gestures and simple words he asked his new guide what was happening and where he was. To his intense astonishment……..

Melanie’s bit
….astonishment the being spoke in crisp English tones. “You are in a place. A place of sights and sounds…” the being recited the entire opening spiel to “Twilight Zone” (the retro TV version with Rod Serling). Matthew stared and wondered about the efficacy of that sketchy burrito he’d had for lunch. It was all the economy fare airline offered and he had been hungry, but really? What had they laced that thing with? A little LSD? The striped creature’s eyes boggled. It shook its head, a little sadly. He could almost hear it thinking “What a sad thing man is. No trust. No imagination..” Maybe this WAS the ‘Twilight Zone’. Except with humidity. And a lot of lush plant life.
Matthew started for the vine ladder to exit this surreal castle in the sky. The brown and white furry creature with the googly eyes moved swiftly in front of him and the rest of the herd (?) surrounded him in a tightly knit circle. They all shook their heads in a NO! gesture. Synchronized. Matthew almost expected them to leap into an intricate ballet and Esther Williams to appear, water dancing her way …………….
Matthew shook his head vigorously, causing a small ripple of dismay in the creatures and a widening of the tight circle that surrounded him. “Okay then, I’ll stay!” he exclaimed, “But you have to tell me WHAT YOU WANT! Can you take me to your leader at least?!” The beasts/creatures all pointed at the first googly eye that Matthew had encountered. It smiled, which was creepy, given it had a snout instead of a mouth exactly… There was a loud CRASH and all the heads turned (in synchronized motion obviously)…Matthew leapt up and turned around rapidly to see…

This is where Di picked up the story………….
a huge hand snaking into the tree top from above where he and his new companions were situated.
The creatures bolted leaving him alone to face the music. Those searching fingertips were getting dangerously close.
Matthew had no weapons and did the only thing he could think of when the hand closed around him.
He opened his mouth as wide as he could and brought his teeth down hard.
The bellow was like nothing he had ever heard in his life as he was immediately released. He slid awkwardly down the vine to the relative safety of the jungle floor and out of reach, even if it was only likely to be temporary.
He had an audience as he tried to catch his breath and slow his rampant heartbeat. The creatures stood in awe and started to bow at their saviour, chanting something which he hoped was his name in their native language.
Matthew was both embarrassed and pleased at his new status, but knew there was more to this scenario than met the eye. His jaw hurt and he could taste blood, but wasn’t sure if he’d jarred a tooth loose or it was that of the hand he’d bitten. Either way his head started to spin and he felt himself falling.
The creatures gathered around him and before he knew it, he was lifted up on hundreds of shoulders like some kind of Gulliver and carried further into the jungle where…………………

Now it became Jim Adams‘ turn…..
the googly eyed creatures placed Matthew on a fire ant mound and told him that if he could spend the night there that they would follow him forever. Matthew said, “I am not looking for any stinking followers and how the hell did I get talked into visiting the jungle. I feel like John McClane when he went out to the coast to have a good time and he ran into Hans Gruber. I feel like Indiana Jones when he was thrown into that pit with all the snakes and I told Carlos that I hate ants and fire ants are the worst.” Just then Carlos the guide showed up with bug spray and said, “You are a very good sport Mr. Howard, thanks for going along with this and if you have to blame anybody, your brother told me to do this.”
Matthew said, “That dirty rat bastard, I should have known he was pranking me back for what I had done to him in Tahiti last year with those men I paid to dress up like cannibals. I am not done with him yet and revenge is a dish best served cold, so I will get back at him no matter how long it takes and he will regret ever messing with me. Carlos, did you bring any ointment with you for the fire ant bites?” Carlos said, “Yes but while it will help with your itching, it also contains fermions that attract wild monkeys.” Matthew said, “Just give it to me” and then…..

Paula Light continues the story from here.

Matthew was feeling much better the next day after sleeping most of it, ordering room service, and taking three cold showers. He’d applied a double dose of the ointment Carlos had given him, and the bites had almost disappeared. A couple monkeys had howled outside his window off and on, but hotel staff shooed them away. Matthew put on clean clothes and headed down to the bar for a drink.

He was sipping his second green volcano when the band appeared on stage. There were five men dressed in shiny orange suits and all were very tall and very thin. They were wearing masks and playing strange pulsating music. A sexy woman in a purple dress sat down next to him. She smelled of coconut and orchids. “We must leave at once,” she whispered. “It is not safe here.”

Matthew laughed. “Tell my brother that I’m done with his tricks for this vacation. I need to relax for the next couple days.”

“No, you don’t understand.” She put her hand on his bare arm. It was cold as a popsicle. “Those men are not musicians. They are–”

The lights went out and the music stopped. “Get down!” someone screamed.

Matthew reached for the woman’s hand, but instead he found himself grasping a handful of……….

Now let’s see where MsJadeli can take this!

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

The Irishman [socs]

[Note: this is stream of consciousness writing for Linda’s Saturday prompt, taking the title only of the last movie I watched, not the content, and going from there.]

Rainbow Saturday Bitmoji

When my daughter received the results of her DNA test, there was a surprise bit of Irish mixed in. 🍀 It had to be from my side, just because. We speculated that my maternal grandmother slept with an Irish milkman. But why did he have to be a milkman? I don’t know. Probably because of a long-running alt.writing joke about them on Usenet.

I became excited about being part Irish. This explains why I like green, I decided, and my cravings for those delicious shamrock-shaped butter cookies. I also love rainbows… who doesn’t love a rainbow? 🌈 Apparently, you can’t say anything about rainbows now without some idiot making it political. Eff that. Rainbows are pretty! I put Ireland on my list of places to visit that I can’t afford, and I don’t have a passport besides.

But then a very smart science person in a Facebook group (I was on FB at the time) explained to me that genetics didn’t work that way. Just because a (not necessarily accurate) test showed my daughter with this 12% or whatever Irish doesn’t mean I have a quarter. It was a while ago though and I don’t remember the discussion cuz I guess once she said there’s no guarantee of an Irishman in my ancestry I lost interest.

But I went ahead and took my own test a while later… and yep, no Irish. Where’d my Irish grandpa go? Disappeared. 😢 At that point, one might start to look to my child’s other parent for the Irish connection, but let’s just not. There is no Irish there. It’s either in my genes or nowhere. We began to accept that the Irish part of her result was an error.

However! Ancestry is continually updating its database. As more people submit their DNA, the methodology gets more accurate, and they tweak your profile from time to time. The last time I peeked in, relatively recently… not only had they pinpointed my Ohio family with greater geographical precision, but also they threw some Irish on me. Just a wee bit, but I was wearin’ the green in mah genes!

I know, I know. Who cares? It’s fun though. When I was in my 20s and 30s, I thought all genealogy research was stupid. You hang out with people you love and who act like they give a damn about you, and… that’s it. Why does it matter who your third cousin twice removed is if you never talk to her? Who GAF about 100 year old newspaper clippings, bah! But now… as I’m close to finishing up my 50s, I’m getting all mushy about connectedness. Family ties. All that. My aunt sent me a totally awesome book full of family stuffs and I’m really digging it. When I was younger I wouldn’t have been interested, but…

Things change. ✨

~*~

Image from the Bitmoji app.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

PFF33: Who, Her?

Friday Flashback

Welcome to Paula’s Friday Flashback! This is a challenge begun by Fandango and it’s fun to see what we posted back when (as well as the comments). The below is a reblog of a post I made on January 19, 2014. It’s another review ~ the reason why so many of my PFF’s are reviews is because I did several hosings of old whiny posts about dating etc.

Note my ongoing issue with how writers are so oddly out of touch with financial realities. 🙄

Her

I saw Her last night. (Who’s on first?)

Unfortunately I didn’t enjoy this movie as much as I thought I would. Joaquin did a nice job and there were some interesting moments, a few laffs, but overall? I had a major problem with the film (besides it being a big batch of romantic downersauce).

And my problem was not with the premise. I can totally understand falling in love with an operating system as opposed to a real person. People are annoying. My problem was as follows. We are to buy a time in the nearish future when an OS has advanced to the point of being like a real person in there, only better. This is not that hard to accept. However!

My problem was with Theodore’s job. In this time of the conscious/empathetic OS that anyone can haz, we are to simultaneously believe there is a need for a company full of apparently well-paid people writing thank-you and other letters for peeps who need help with such things. Are you fucking kidding me? Why can’t a software program do this? But no… we have a whole company full of these writers. And Theo lives in some fancy-schmancy apartment in Los Angeles with an incredible view of the city. I’m so sure.

I’ll buy a time when Scarlett Johansson lives inside your puter and wakes you up in the middle of the night just to say hai, but I can’t buy a time when a writer makes enough money churning out Hallmark schmaltz to live in a posh condo off Wilshire Boulevard.

Give me a break.

/end reblog

~*~

Image from Pexels.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

5 Things (That I Like About Me)

5 kittens

Sadje shared a nice meme from Cyranny: #5Things she likes about herself. It’s so easy to be hard on ourselves, especially now at the beginning of a new year when we want to start fresh and accomplish so much, but it’s important to be good to ourselves too. Don’t worry, there are lots of other people ready and willing to tear us down. If you don’t believe me, try going on a dating site.

Here are #5Things I like about me (YMMV):

1. That I’ve quit smashing my head into a brick wall–I mean dating. I’ve quit dating! This has decreased the drama level in my life to practically zero, which makes me happy. I am not an adrenaline addict. 🌹

2. That I’m resilient. Sometimes I get really down and think there’s no way out from a depressing spiral of whatever nature, but I’m eventually always okay and I adapt to changes. 👍🏻

3. That I enjoy my own company. This gives me the freedom to stay home often and work or write or read without feeling lonely and sad, and that in turn allows me to accomplish more goals. 🐱

4. That I’m open minded to new info. This is something everyone says, but few actually are, in my experience. I’ve changed my mind about many issues, or modified my positions, and will continue to do so until I die. That’s called learning and growth. ✨

5. That I never jeopardized my job for a man. Thank God, some molecule of sense kept me from doing that back when I was tempted by this idiot or that one. They’re all gone, and the job abides. 💖

This was a great exercise! Really made me think, instead of rattling off silliness. I hope Sadje continues the #5Things prompt with other topics. 🙂

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Thursday Inspiration 39

Welcome to Thursday Inspiration! This is my weekly prompt post and hopefully it will inspire you to write something creative, perhaps a poem or a piece of flash fiction. If you’d like to share your writing with the community, please indulge me and tag your post with #p0eticlicense and/or #lightm0tifs, and of course link back if you wish. I will try to visit everyone who participates. 🙂

This week’s theme is boots and the picture is below. Here is the song snippet from “These Boots Are Made for Walking” recorded by Nancy Sinatra in 1966:

These boots are made for walking
And that’s just what they’ll do
One of these days these boots are gonna
Walk all over you

Yellow boots

~*~

Image from the Happy Color app.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

FPQ56: Drive Me Crazy

Fandango’s provocative question

Fandango provocatively asks…

What’s something you consider to be terrifying that you have come to accept as a fact of life?

It’s probably not going to surprise anyone who knows me when I say driving. This is not an irrational fear. Let’s begin with some data.

The U.S. leads the way (rah!) on traffic fatalities. We have 12.4 per 100,000 population, about 50% higher than other Western nations. (source) Check that link for some reasons why.

Daily, I see people running red lights. Not once in a while… daily. I never see a cop chase after them, not once. Red light cameras have mostly been taken away due to cost and also there was concern they were causing more accidents (like the way Trump “caused” the Iranians to shoot down their own plane).

People speed and change lanes unsafely because… well, it’s all about them. They assume everyone else is paying close attention to the road. And whatever they have to do is more important than being safe. If they’re late, well, now that becomes our problem. God forbid people learn to leave enough time for appointments.

They tailgate because they are late and they are frustrated. Driving unsafely makes them feel better, I guess. Or they’re just not paying attention because they’re texting, chatting, eating, daydreaming, whatever. Or their judgment is impaired from drugs or stupidity or lack of sleep. Then there are the drivers who are armed, ready to shoot you over who knows what…

So, I “share” the roads with these maniacs and idiots and rage-filled criminals and hope every day not to die or get mangled in a car wreck. In 2018, about 40,000 people died in vehicle crashes ~ forty thousand (source) ~ not to mention all the injuries.

It’s weird how we’re supposed to be scared of molesters hiding behind trees in the park and bad dudes sneaking across the border to steal our lunches, but me… I’m terrified of driving, and yet I accept it as a fact of life here in Southern California. If you live in an area with great public transportation and don’t have to drive, consider yourself lucky!🍀

~*~

Image from Fandango himself.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

The Hidden Away [flash 275]

Spies

Rory and Sue snuck surreptitiously into the upstairs study while Rose slept on the sofa downstairs.

“Do you know where it is?” Sue whispered.

“No,” Rory said, taking out his pistol. “But this is our last chance. We must find that soy turtle soup recipe. It has the secret code hidden in it.”

Sue looked confused. “You mean in a pot of slop? Do I have to slave away over a stove?”

“Never, my pet,” Rory reassured her. “Trust me. The code is buried in the recipe itself!”

“Oh good then.” Sue poked around on the desk. “Rose must be a poet. I see bits of verse but no recipes. I wish we could go out for pie, Rory. I love pie.”

Rory bent over to peer under the desk. “We can later–oof! Did you hear that rip? I tore my trousers. They’re split open.”

Pity,” Sue said. “And those are your new ones. It’s hard to find those stripes you like.”

“This spoils my whole day,” Rory said with a pout. “I don’t even care about the treasure hunt now.”

Sue began to protest. “But we haven’t won any games tonight, honey. We’ll be known as the family losers. I thought we were doing well at this spy challenge.”

“I don’t care.” Rory flung himself in a chair. “These elaborate games are torture. Why can’t Aunt Rose throw normal parties?”

“She’s your aunt.” Sue reminded him. “So, you shouldn’t be asking me.”

There came a horrific shriek from downstairs. “Help!” screamed a man. “Aunt Rose is dead! Someone strangled her with a rope!

Rory and Sue just looked at each other and laughed.

~*~

Written for Rory’s What’s Your Story?

Words made from surreptitiously: is, it, losers, pet, pie, pistol, pity, poet, pot, pout, protest, rip, ripe, Rory, slept, slop, so, soup, soy, split, spoils, spy, stripes, Sue, surreptitiously, to, tore, torture, trousers, trust, turtle.

Image from the Happy Color app.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Elevator Pitch [fiction 357]

Adorable unicorn

God was inspecting the various heavenly sectors, as he did from time to time, to make sure all was running smoothly, which of course it was. This was heaven, after all, not some mismanaged junkyard. But it was a big place, and his knees were getting tired from schlepping up and down all the stairs. He was older than, well, God. He laughed at his circular logic, ignoring the side eye from a passing angel.

He pushed the button for the elevator. What was taking so long? He’d have to file another complaint. Finally, the car stopped and he got on. But he wasn’t alone.

“Hey, God. How are you?” the youngish male occupant said.

God searched his memory, which took longer than it used to. But there were more things in there, so that was okay! “Zack,” he said. “The inventor who choked to death on a beyond burger. I’m good, and you?”

“Fantastic actually!” Zack beamed. “I’ve come up with a great idea for you.”

Oh no, God thought. Halp! “What?”

“I know you love horses, so I’ve invented a small white one with a golden horn. It’s very pretty and will remind people of your awesomeness.”

God frowned. “Why? I don’t have a horn.”

“Because it’s gold and points to heaven, showing people the way to eternal life if they stay good and stuff.” Zack gestured upward, though they were already up, and the car had stopped.

“And stuff,” God muttered, rolling his eyes.

“Fine. Show me the little horse,” he said as they exited. “But make it quick. I don’t have all day to look at everyone’s cockamamie–”

God came to an abrupt halt and pointed to an adorable creature frolicking on the grass. “Is that him? He’s so cute! Look how his mane sparkles! Oh my me, I love him!”

“Yay,” Zack said. “I’m so happy I’ve pleased you.”

“Give me a hundred and I’ll put them back on Atlantis,” God commanded. “Can you make some in different colors?”

“Sure! I’ll get to work right away.”

God trundled off to inspect billionaires’ row. Haha, just kidding. There are no billionaires in heaven! 😜

~*~

Written for Sadje’s What Do You See?

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.